Five Minutes With Thai Elvis
You can get Thai Food anywhere in LA, but Palms Thai is the only place where you can watch Thai Elvis perform while eating your Pad See Ew Noodles. I recently sat down with Kevee Thongprecha a.k.a Thai Elvis for a Q&A after his nightly performance at Palms Thai.
Losanjealous: How long have you been singing at The Palms?
Thai Elvis: Six years. But I’ve been singing since 1957. I used to sing when I was in Bangkok.
LA: Did you do shows over there?
TE: Yes. I used to go back every ten years to do shows in August. It was always sold out. But I haven’t been back since 1991.
LA:What was the biggest audience you ever had?
TE: Silver Dollar, Las Vegas 1978.
LA: How many people were there?
TE: I don’t know, it was sold out though.
LA: Was it your favorite performance?
TE: It was lots of fun. Also the Hyatt Hotel in Long Beach, 1974.
LA: When I come here, you’re usually wearing a different outfit each time. How many outfits do you own?
TE: Ten jumpsuits. About seven suits.
LA: Do you listen to any new music?
TE: No. Sometimes I listen to 94.7.
LA: Do you know a lot of other Elvises in LA?
TE: Yeah, there are too many. They are from all over. Japanese Elvis, Jamaican Elvis, and um, (TE turns to the Guitar Player, who’s strumming Moon River and asks him. The Guitar Player answers, then TE looks back) and Lebanese Elvis. Too many singers.
LA: Why Elvis?
TE: The way he did it was different than everyone. The way he sang, the way he danced, the way he performed. No one was doing what he was doing back then. He was just so different. I saw him in person in 1974 here in Los Angeles.
LA: Did you get a chance to talk to him?
TE: No, there were too many people around him.
LA: Any parting words of wisdom?
TE: Do something you love, it keeps you going. I’m 70 and I’m in good health. I started doing this when I was 19 and I still love doing it. Nobody would pay me to do anything else. Elvis helped me out a lot, he’s my hero. If I didn’t have Elvis I would probably be sick right now. I ask him for strength everyday so I can use it to entertain people. There are lots of people who do the same.